Sean Everitt insists he has no worries about Mikey Jones coming into the Edinburgh side to make his debut from the bench after an injury crisis in the front row.

The 21-year-old has been named among the replacements with Pierre Schoeman, Boan Venter and Robin Hislop all ruled out for this weekend’s game against Bayonne at the Hive.

Schoeman suffered a concussion during a ‘freak accident’ in training while Venter picked up a knee injury. Hislop is already out long term with an Anterior Cruciate Ligament problem meaning the three main loose-heads in the Edinburgh squad are all out of action.

Luan de Bruin is handed a start in the No 1 jersey but he has only played at tight head for Edinburgh, although he does have experience of playing as a loose-head prior to making the move to the capital.

Everitt knows he can be impressive there having witnessed him in action in South Africa before moving to Scotland and he’s certain he can bring a lot to the game along with Jones as he predicted a bright future for young props in Scotland despite concerns over who is coming through at senior level.

He namechecked teenager Ollie Blyth-Lafferty, who missed out on the U20 Six Nations due to red tape, and he’s got no worries about De Bruin or Jones.

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He said: “I think the beauty of our academy system is that the academy boys are training against the seniors on a weekly basis, so he gets and opportunity to scrum against WP Nel and Javan Sebastian, who are international rugby players, so that does speed up the growth.

“If you look back to where I come from, I wish our South African youngsters had an opportunity to scrummage against the likes of Ox Nche. I think that would have sped up their growth and I think the guys here are really fortunate. We’ve got a young tight-head coming through, Ollie Blyth-Lafferty, who is going to be really good – and he’s getting an opportunity to scrum against the likes of Pierre Schoeman.

“So, the academy system here has its advantages, and with that we are able to test whether they can withstand the pressure of the URC.

“De Bruin is quite a strange one because I had only known him as a loose-head before coming here. He was chosen in the ‘Green and Gold’ team during Covid when we were playing internal games because there wasn’t any international rugby at the times, and he was a stand out in those games, so Leicester obviously noticed his ability and toom him there where he had a fantastic season as a loose-head prop.

“Then he came here and slotted in at tight-head as well, so it’s quite good form him to be versatile in both positions.

“He had his first game after being out with a lengthy injury against Ospreys, when he came on the field and won us a scrum penalty at loose-head and did his job defending the line-out fairly well.

“Struggled a bit against the Stormers playing against a very good front-row, but I think this is a great opportunity for him to get back to the form he was in at Leicester.”

De Bruin is one of three changes to the Edinburgh team to face Bayonne and he starts in the front row alongside Ewan Ashman and WP Nel.

Grant Gilchrist comes into the second row and will partner Sam Skinner in the engine room while it’s an experienced trio of Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson and Bill Mata in the back row.

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The half backs see Ben Healy and Ben Vellacott continue for the fourth game in a row and the final change comes in the midfield with Mark Bennett returning at outside centre and Matt Currie moves to the inside.

Jake Henry will make his first appearance for Edinburgh at the Hive in his third consecutive start and he’s joined by Duhan van der Merwe and Wes Goosen. The bench sees Jones joined by Dave Cherry and D’Arcy Rae as cover for the front row.

Luke Crosbie returns from injury to make the replacements along with Jamie Hodgson while the backs are covered by Chris Dean, James Lang and the returning Ali Price, who missed the Sharks game because his wife was giving birth.

A victory over Bayonne could see Edinburgh return to South Africa to face Sharks again in the next round but Everitt isn’t looking too far ahead just yet.

He added: “We all know that in knock-out games you have to win. I think we’re looking for an improved performance on the two games in South Africa, which were disappointing, not due to a lack of effort or opportunities created, it is just about us being more accurate in executing those opportunities.

“Cutting out the elementary errors is going to be vital for us to get a win tomorrow, and we’ve worked hard on that for this weekend. We’ve prepared really well for this game. I know the conditions might not be conducive to good rugby but Edinburgh are used to playing in conditions which are challenging, and in one way or another we’ve always come out on top. It will be no different for us tomorrow night.”

Edinburgh team to face Bayonne: W Goosen, J Henry, M Bennett, M Currie, D Van der Merwe, B Healy, B Vellacott, L De Bruin, E Ashman, WP Nel, S Skinner, G Gilchrist, J Ritchie, H Watson, V Mata

Replacements: D Cherry, M Jones, D Rae, J Hodsgon, L Crosbie, A Price, J Lang, C Dean